Grocery Store Observations, Marketing Plan Example

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Marketing Plan

I observed ShopRite on three separate occasions, speaking with customers about their frustrations with the store. In order of frequency of complaints, their main gripes were: lack of availability of sale products; inability to locate products that they were looking for because they were placed in locations where they seemed out of place; and crowded aisles that made it difficult to move easily around people, including the placement of specialty items in the aisles. The problem with lack of availability of sale products was most frequently cited on Monday, following a busy weekend where many customers do their shopping for the week on Sunday. I would suggest to the store manager that this frustration could be resolved significantly by anticipating the large numbers of sale items that need to be made available for people shopping after the weekend. He or she should anticipate that on Sundays, many of the products will be purchased and that perhaps a portion of the sale items could be held in anticipation of Monday’s shoppers. I would suggest to the corporate headquarters that more inventories could be ordered overall.

I would suggest to the store manager that the second problem–inability to locate products that they were looking for–could be improved by having staff available to customers in the aisles that would be able to assist them in finding the products they were looking for. I myself had the experience of looking for a product in the pet food aisle and was overwhelmed by the sheer number of products on the shelves, even though I knew exactly what I was looking for. I would suggest to the corporate office that the decisions about where to place products be focus grouped to learn where people would naturally seek those items.

The third problem, regarding crowded aisles, could be alleviated by removing the specialty items that are placed all over the store for promotional purposes; I would advise the store manager to have a separate section for specialty items so that they are not creating obstacles in the aisles. I would recommend to the corporate office that generally, the aisles should be made much wider to make it easier for people to shop and walk around without having to stop and wait for individuals or groups of people who are simply standing, talking or looking for products.

I believe that these recommendations would increase the frequency of customer visits to the store because many people avoid ShopRite on the basis of not having enough time to risk shopping when it is crowded, or looking for sale items, which are simply out of stock. This means either leaving without the items or having to take the time to ask for rain check, all of which present significant frustration to the customers who do not have the items for which they came, and represents a loss of income provided by all those shoppers who are avoiding the store because of those inconveniences. There are plenty of grocery stores in the area, many of which have wider aisles and greater inventory, making the shopping experience much more convenient and successful.

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